2016 down as warmest year on record

Holidaymakers enjoy the beach in Canet-en-Roussillon France
Holidaymakers enjoy the beach in Canet-en-Roussillon France
Author

11 August, 2017

A new global climate change report, prepared by 450 scientists from more than 60 countries, has published trends from thousands of data sets that - across the board - present a clear-cut picture of a warming world.

"Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing humanity and life on Earth", said the peer-reviewed publication, put together by almost 500 scientists around the globe and released each year by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the American Meteorological Society.

The report is a sort of annual checkup on the Earth, compiled by NOAA and the American Meteorological Society out of data from researchers in 60 countries - and it found the fever the planet has been running in recent years hasn't broken yet.

Five indicators from the report, in particular, offer a particularly compelling illustration of the changing composition of the Earth's atmosphere and the warming that has occurred in lockstep.

The Earth set a series of dire records in 2016, including hottest year in modern times, highest sea level and most heat-trapping gases ever emitted, a global climate report said Thursday. It was 3.5 parts per million higher than the previous year, the biggest jump in the 58 years it has been recorded.

The report said that levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and nitrous oxide - all the major greenhouse gases that drive global warming - had risen to new heights. "This graph tracks the changing frequency of days on which the temperature was in the 90th percentile of the historical record since 1950".

Last year was the hottest ever recorded on Earth in 137 years, an global report released Thursday from the American Meteorological Society shows.

2016 was the third consecutive year of record warmth, NOAA, an agency in the Commerce Department, said. "Independent estimates show that waters are rising due to meltwater from glaciers and ice sheets (blue line) plus thermal expansion (red line) of the ocean water as it warms (red line)".

In the Arctic, the most sensitive area to global warming, the average surface temperature past year was two degrees above the average from 1981-2010, beating all the records.

"Last year's heat resulted from the combined influence of long-term global warming and a strong El Nino early in the year", said the report.

Global has risen for six straight years, with the highest rates of increase seen in the western Pacific and Indian Oceans. "Then 10 hottest years on record have all come since 1998". The phenomenon affects the climate globally, disrupting weather patterns. Both land and sea surface temperatures set new highs.


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